Apollo 18/TMBG Online Information Bulletin 1.2

From This Might Be A Wiki
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 92 22:16:30 PST
From: Bo Orloff <bo@igc.org>
Message-Id: <9202080616.AA16779@cdp.igc.org>
To: they-might-be@gnu.ai.mit.edu
Subject: TMBG Info Bulletin 1.2

TMBG Online Information Bulletin 1.2 / February 1992

Following is the text of the APOLLO 18 TMBG band bio:


John Linnell and John Flansburgh have known each other since
grammar school. They became friends in high school in Sudbury,
Massachusetts, where they worked on the school paper and recorded
some songs together. After high school they moved to different
states. Linnell played in the Rhode Island band, the Mundanes.
While in college in Ohio, Flansburgh played in a couple of hobby
bands. Both moved to Brooklyn in 1981, converging on an apartment
building in Park Slope.

Flansburgh: "We arrived as most of the New York bands we were
interested in were going national or breaking up. We kind of
missed the scene." They started working together on home
recordings pooling instruments and equipment and playing on each
other's songs. By the mid-eighties the Lower East Side club scene
was heating up again, but the focus was on acts very different to
punk rock. "We were on bills with a lot of avant-garde musicians
and performance artists, which was challenging and exciting - and
it definitely influenced us. But we always seemed very much like
a rock band by comparison, and that's why it seems so inaccurate
tag us with the same kinds of labels."

As for the band's name, John Linnell explains: "It's the name of
a movie made in the early seventies. We wanted a name that was
outward-looking and paranoid."

While the band was getting noticed on the downtown scene for
their live performances, many people in and outside the New York
area discovered They Might Be Giants through their Dial-A-Song
service. Years before any other fan line, They Might Be Giants'
service offered songs recorded especially for their phone line,
and the only charge is that of a regular call to Brooklyn.
Linnell says, "It's a difficult medium of expression. A lot of
sounds just can't be heard over the phone, and of course if you
hit that sustained note which sounds like a beep, the machine
ends the song right there."

After their 1985 demo tape was reviewed in People magazine,
Hoboken's Bar/None label approached the band about releasing an
album, and a quick succession of events vaulted the band into the
national spotlight. Their self-titled first album was widely
praised and a solid commercial success, selling over 100,000
copies in its first year of release. Through a series of striking
and creative videos the Giants became MTV regulars - a rare feat
for a band on an independent label.

They Might Be Giants began touring nationally with their two-man
show, and started to gain an enthusiastic national following.
Flansburgh: "Most rock shows are very schematic - they're about
bigness. By comparison, our show probably seems very stripped
down. We wear our street clothes on stage, and we talk to the
audience. We play a few different instruments to keep things
moving along, but we try to keep it simple. We'd rather people
notice the words than a laser show." After the release of their
second album, LINCOLN, the band signed with Elektra records and
in 1990 put out their enormously successful FLOOD lp.

1990 saw They Might Be Giants' first major label single,
"Birdhouse In Your Soul," become a top ten hit in the UK. They
toured around the world and performed over 160 shows in North
America, Europe, Australia and Japan. The band made numerous
television and radio appearances, including The Tonight Show,
where they played with Doc Severinsen, Today, and Late Night With
David Letterman.

They Might Be Giants still rehearse in John Flansburgh's
apartment in Brooklyn.

TMBG Online Information Bulletins are published by the TMBG
Information Club and made available on a variety of online
services & networks. 

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